Ariel Pink’s new album Mature Themes is out this week, and it’s as strange and idiosyncratic as ever, mixing killer pop songs and curious whimsy in roughly equal measures. Pink’s more pop-tastic moment have always led us to think that somewhere inside him was/is a huge international pop star just waiting to get out. (Whether Pink is inclined to let this inner pop star out is, of course, another matter entirely.) Anyway, either way, hearing Mature Themes got us thinking about other indie types who, in an ideal world, could/should be chart-destroying megastars. The lines are blurrier than ever these days, of course, and there have been plenty of genuine crossover acts drawn from the ranks of the indie world, if that term even means anything in 2012 — M83, Feist, even (whisper it quietly) Bon Iver. Who might be next? Read on.
So, first, Ariel Pink. Even in his early days, when his recordings sounded like they were made in a truck stop bathroom, Pink was a pop star in waiting — beneath the (very) rough production, his songs were little lo-fi pop gems, and when things work out, he’s a charismatic and engaging performer. When they don’t… um, well, the results can be unpredictable.